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State

March jobless rates up in most Ill. metro areas

CHICAGO (AP) — Officials say unemployment increased in March in seven of Illinois' 12 metro areas as the state jobs outlook remained difficult.

The state Department of Employment Security said Thursday that unemployment rates rose in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville area from 9 percent in March 2012 to 9.5 percent last month. Other increases were in Decatur, Champaign-Urbana, Danville, Peoria, Springfield and the Lake-Kenosha area that straddles the Illinois-Wisconsin state line.

The department said earlier this month that statewide unemployment held steady at 9.5 percent in March. That's one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

Decatur and Rockford shared the highest metro jobless rates in March at 11.8 percent. The lowest was in the Bloomington-Normal area at 6.9 percent.

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